Frilled Lizard Frilled Dragon or Frilled Neck Lizard


Frilled Lizard Description What is a Frilled Lizard?

Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii

The Frilled Lizard, also known as the Frilled Dragon and Frilled-Neck Lizard, lives in the northern parts of Australia. It is called by these names because of a ruff of skin which it keeps folded behind its head. When frightened the frilled lizard stands on its hind legs and opens its yellow and pink coloured mouth wide and ruffles out its colourful scaly red and yellow frill like an open umbrella. Sometimes it may also run on its hind legs towards its attackers hissing loudly trying to intimidate them. If this display of bravado doesn't scare its attacker away, it usually turns tail and runs away at great speed, not stopping or looking back until it reaches safety. While quite harmless, it can bite if provoked.

The frilled lizard is about a meter in length and weights about half a kilo. Almost two-thirds of its body lenght is made up of its long tail. Males and females look similar but the males is slightly larger than female. It usually camouflages itself by blending in with its environment. Frilled lizards can live up to 20 years.


Frilled Lizard's Umbrella Purpose of the Frilled Lizard's Ruff

The frilled neck ruff of the frilled lizard works very much like an umbrella. The large frill is supported by long spines made of cartilage which are attracted to its jaw bone. When the lizard opens its mouth it pushes these spines back forcing the ruff to spread out, just like and umbrella does.

While the main purpose of this frilled ruff seems to be as a scaring mechanism, it has also been suggested that it may use its frill as a radiator to help the lizard regulate its body temperature. Spreading it open in the early morning sunlight to quickly warm its body up.


Frilled Lizard Attack & Running Away (video)How a Frilled Lizard Defends Itself

The frilled neck ruff of the frilled lizard works very much like an umbrella. The large frill is supported by long spines made of cartilage which are attracted to its jaw bone. When the lizard opens its mouth it pushes these spines back forcing the ruff to spread out, just like and umbrella does.

While the major purpose of this frilled ruff seems to be as a scaring mechanism, it has also been suggested that it may be used as a radiator to help the lizard regulate its body temperature.


Are Frilled Necked Lizards Poisonous?Are Frilled Lizards Dangerous?

Frilled necked Lizards have a large mouth with small sharp teeth along its jaws and two front and bottom canine teeth with which to grab its prey.

While the lizard with its mouth wide open and its frill fully extended may look very scary, in actual fact this lizard is totally harmless to humans. Its will run away rather than physically attack a human.

Its bite would be painful but harmless.


Frilled Lizard Habitat Where Do the Frilled Lizards Live?

Frilled Lizards are found in the warm temperate forests of the northern parts of Australia (marked red on map). They are arboreal tree-dwelling lizards. They descends occasionally to the ground to move from tree to tree or to feed.


Frilled Lizard Diet What do Frilled Lizards Eat?

Frilled Lizards are carnivorous. They hunt by lying in wait for prey to pass close by and then pounce on their victims. These lizards feed on insects such as spider, beetles, termites, cicadas, ants and on smaller lizards and mammals.


Frilled Lizard Reproduction Frilled Lizard Babies

The Frilled Lizard breed around September and October. Female lays between 8 to 26 soft-shelled eggs in nests a 5-20 centimetres below ground in a sunny location. She then abandons the nest. The eggs incubate in about two and a half months. The gender of the baby lizards are partially determined by the temperature of their nest. If the temperature of the nest is too hot or cold then the brood will be exclusively female. If, on the other hand, the nest is within normal incubation temperatures then there will be equal numbers of male and female baby lizards.

Baby lizards hatch as fully functionally little lizards and live independently from the moment they hatch.


Frilled Lizard - Threats and Predators Is the Frilled Lizard Surviving?

The major threats to the Frilled Lizard are eagles, owls, larger lizard, snakes, dingoes and quolls. More recently they have also fallen prey to feral cats.


Frilled Lizard - Conservation Status Is the Frilled Lizard Endangered?

Frilled Lizards are not considered threatened or endangered. They can be kept as pets.